My brother lives with our Dad, they are 90 minutes away, IF there is no traffic. Dad was diagnosed, and had surgery for, glioblastoma brain tumors in April. He was released home, to my bother's care, on April 26th. I've been going up Sundays-Tuesdays to help take care of Dad so my brother can get out of the house and take a break.
My brother and I don't get along well, we had horrible fights while Dad was in the hospital. I didn't start going up right away, but we'd managed to keep a truce going so I started going up to help in June. Mostly because I go up, don't say much about what I see, and don't ask questions. But things have changed and it's really hard not to speak my mind. My Dad's symptoms, he is 75, have returned and both my brother and I feel he's getting very close to passing. Up until now, my father didn't want hospice and even though I advocated for it early on, my brother backed my father's wishes (which, admit, I was also willing to do initially).
My father has developed a sore on his back that festered. It took my brother forever to take my Dad to the doctor (admittedly, my Dad fights going anywhere) and he was put on antibiotics and sent home with instructions to change the gauze every day. This past weekend, the antibiotics ran out, though I found two on the floor around his bed, along with other pills not taken. My brother cancelled the follow up appointment on 4/27, stating he couldn't get Dad to the doctor, but then told me the wound was festering again. I have suggested, told, informed, begged, for him to call hospice (even got Dad's permission!) because if Dad can't get to the doctor, my understanding is hospice can arrange for care at the house. As of Friday, he still hadn't called and when I questioned him as to why, he became very angry and we had a fight resulting in his hanging up on me.
My Dad is very close to death. How close I'm not sure because he still consumes a small amount of food and fluids each day. He sleeps most of the time, but is awake and "with it" enough to tell you he has no desire to wear Depends, even though his incontinence is bad enough to soak the linens once a day or more. He is now having problems swallowing, which makes pill taking more than difficult. His dexterity and ability to concentrate on simple tasks is reminiscent of his post-surgical stay in the hospital. Also, his speech is more and more slurred each day.
So that's the brief history, this (these) is (are) my problem(s) and I'm hoping you all can help me work through it:
1. I don't understand why my bother won't call Hospice, even though they can help with many of the issues around my Dad's care. If I push on this issue, my brother becomes angry and volatile. In response, once he starts cussing at me, and after keeping my cool for about 3 attempts, I will start yelling back (and cussing, too), none of which is productive.
2. The wound on my Dad is festering again the first time it got bad really quickly. I don't know how much time my Dad has, but I'm worried the infection is bad for his already compromised immune system.
3. I'm afraid to go up tomorrow (Sunday) to help care for my Dad because: a) I can't provide the kind of care he needs by myself, and b) I'm now concerned (again) to be alone in a house with just my Dad and brother. I've never been concerned about him deliberately hurting our Dad, but me? I can only be there if I'm not questioning anything.
4. Isn't this negligence? Though I'm willing to support my brother weekly to give him a break, I'm not willing to support medical negligence.
5. Maybe Dad is close enough to passing that treating the wound is irrelevant, but a medically qualified person should diagnose that, right?
6. Back to question #1, WHY WON'T HE CALL HOSPICE?
And before you ask, my brother has primary care, is Executor of the will, AND has POA. He is there with all the history, the meds, everything, I think he SHOULD be the one to call. It comes with the position. Yes, I could call. BUT, this will result in the likelihood of not being able to go up and see my Dad at all. Not only will my brother portray it that I am a troublemaker, but my Dad will agree with him and be angry with me, too (yes, they are that tight).
One could argue that Dad being angry with me is a fare exchange for getting him some of the care he is currently lacking, but if he is close to passing, is it worth starting a war? Which brings me back to my issues with not having Hospice on board.
I'm so close to this and have been through it so many times, I'd really appreciate some thoughts and advice.